Who says a 41-year-old can’t be a productive basketball player?
It certainly wasn’t Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who had his second straight stellar game for the Kyoto Hannaryz on Sunday.
Abdul-Rauf, who’ll turn 42 in March, scored a season-high 28 points in the series finale, leading Kyoto to a 112-90 victory over the visiting Toyama Grouses.
The veteran guard, who started playing pro ball before many of the bj-league’s players began attending elementary school, was 11-for-15 from the field, including 6-for-7 from 3-point range as the Hannaryz recorded a series sweep and scored 107 or more points for the third straight game.
Abdul-Rauf, meanwhile, set a season-high total in points (he scored 21 on Saturday) for the second game in a row. He had missed the previous three games after an 18-point output on Dec. 4.
On Sunday, the former LSU All-American and NBA player made his first start since Nov. 19. He played 29 minutes and also dishes out five assists to go along with two steals.
After Sunday’s game, Kyoto coach Kazuto Aono had this to say about the veteran sharpshooter’s inspired play: “Abdul-Rauf woke up.”
Indeed, Aono’s observation was a reminder that there are high expectations for Abdul-Rauf, the highest profile player in bj-league history, to be a major contributor this season, his second with Kyoto.
Kyoto’s Wendell White, the league’s reigning MVP, made a major impact for the hosts, registering 23 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and five steals. Naoto Nakamura scored 14 points and buried 4 of 6 3s as the much-improved Hannaryz improved to 10-10.
Brian Harper had 27 points for Toyama (5-13).
Broncos 87, HeatDevils 75
In Gyoda, Saitama Prefecture, the Broncos jumped out to a 27-8 lead after one quarter and held a 21-point advantage at halftime as first-year coach Bob Nash’s club earned a series split.
Point guard Kenny Satterfield paced Saitama (5-15) with 24 points, six assists and five steals. Kazuya Hatano matched a season-high scoring output with 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds and Daiki Terashita added 13 points, while George Leach had 10 points and 13 boards.
For the struggling HeatDevils, Damian Johnson led the way with 25 points and 10 rebounds. He also had six assists. Matt Lottich scored 22 for Oita (7-11) and Taj Finger had 16. The HeatDevils scored 39 points in the fourth quarter to make the final margin more respectable.
Evessa 88, Shining Suns 65
In Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, Osaka limited players not named Brandon Cole and Jackie Manuel to 23 total points in the series finale en route to a sweep.
Cole (24 points) and Manuel (18 points and 14 boards) provided the bulk of the scoring for Miyazaki, which fell to 6-14 in its inaugural season.
The Evessa (15-5) had five double-digit scorers: Billy Knight (23), Lawrence Blackledge (18), Hirohisa Takada (12), Lynn Washington (11) and Wayne Marshall (10). Takada also dished out nine assists.
Phoenix 74, Rizing 68
In Fukuoka, Wayne Arnold scored 20 points and Jeffrey Parmer added 16 points and 13 rebounds and defending champion Hamamatsu Higashimikawa avoided its first losing streak of the season.
The Phoenix (18-2) had their 15-game win streak end on Saturday.
Michael Parker paced Fukuoka with 27 points and 15 rebounds, while Nile Murry scored 16 and Jartavious Henderson had 15. Akitomo Takeno chipped in with seven points for the Rizing (12-8).
Golden Kings 69, Five Arrows 67
In Takamatsu, David Palmer drained a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:07 remaining and Ryukyu hung on to defeat the hosts.
The game was tied at 65 when Palmer, who had an eight-point game, knocked down one of his trademark long-range shots.
Jeff Newton led the Golden Kings (13-7) with 13 points and 10 boards and Carlos Dixon had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Abdullahi Kuso scored 10 and Naoto Kosuge had nine.
For Takamatsu (5-13), Satoshi Takeda scored 15 points.
Albirex 76, Susanoo Magic 64
In Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, Julius Ashby (22 points, 11 boards) and Zach Andrews (18 points, 18 rebounds) gave the hosts a strong one-two punch in a win over Shimane.
The Albirex (9-9) also won the series opener. Niigata’s Yuichi Ikeda and Willie Veasley both scored 15 points.
Reggie Golson was the high scorer for Shimane (8-12), finishing with 13 points.
Lakestars 94, Happinets 83
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Lamar Rice had a 27-point afternoon and Mikey Marshall poured in 22 points as the hosts bounced back from a lopsided loss.
Gary Hamilton added 12 points and 18 rebounds and Masashi Joho had a 16-point, six-assist, five-rebound, zero-turnover effort for Shiga (14-6).
Paul Butorac paced Akita (7-13) with 19 points, while Sek Henry scored 16 and Dokun Akingbade had 15 points and 19 rebounds. Akingbade crashed the boards effectively throughout the series, hauling in 34 rebounds.
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